….with my puerco pibil loaded into a comfortable, blanket cushioned carrier, I was out the door and off to pick up Sarah. We were on our way to the wonderful home of Valerie and Vanja, for a night we imagined we wouldn’t soon forget. Advertised as a Taste Tripping Party Potluck, this well planned event was going to be a gathering of food fans in the area. On top of what we quickly realized was a fantastic spread of food, Valerie had purchased enough miracle fruit berry pills for the entire room. Nothing says fun like dropping pills with strangers!
The entire evening was etched out for those attending, and if you can’t tell from the pictures, there was plenty of food. With a grand vision of having all those attending to eat outside, mother nature wasn’t being as friendly as she could have been and the cool wind kept many indoors. Lucky for Sarah and I, we found a nice spot in the sun before being joined by a few other sun seeking souls and relaxing into some great conversation. If I recall correctly, it involved everything from gardening to wine to books to touring to street markets and so on. Like I said, fantastic!!
As we lined up for food, my bread dreams were again smashed because it became apparent that the person who had took bread from the menu didn’t make the party. And as such, we were considerably down on bread! *shakes fist* The table was lined with everything from beet salad to quinoa salad, confit goose ravioli to cured moose tongue, Moroccan style chicken to bison sloppy joes. This wasn’t a typical pot luck; that is for certain!
After dinner, it was time to get our taste altering on. Valerie, who if you didn’t know, is a teacher and quickly put her “teacher-ly” (is that a word even) act on. We were told the options, no pill, ½ pill, or whole pill, (what about the Kool-Aid I asked?) and given a run down of the food available to taste. And no joke, if you thought that the pot luck was packed full of food, this taste testing was a buffet on its own! Every kind of fruit you can think of, more types of citrus than Santa has elves, an assortment of cheeses, pickles, olives, garlic, radish, Brussel sprouts, lettuce, yogurt, chips, beer, hard liquor, and an assortment of condiments from sour cream to hot sauce.
The pill experience was strange. I opted for an entire pill (go big or go home right!) and found it didn’t change things as much as I thought. The strongest citrus items offered the biggest difference; meaning lemons tasted like candy! The strawberries also tasted sweeter than normal, while things like pineapple were mellowed and lost the bite you’d normally find. Most of the savory items remained the same, pickles tasted like pickles, the snozzberries tasted like snozzberries and so on.The worst item for me was the garlic, as it just intensified the flavour of raw garlic. Some of the stranger things that seemed more common, sour cream tasting sweet, and the strong cheeses becoming too strong to enjoy. Good thing the pills don’t last very long, because with all those delicious treats, and some tongue pate waiting on the table, I didn’t want to be ‘tasting’ different for too long.
With only minutes to digest the nights second feast, dessert and coffee were ready to be handed out. Seriously, I don’t think the recent Indulgence ’10 had anything on the epic journey that this evening was. If there could be any downside to such a large potluck; its that one evening doesn’t have enough hours to really get to know everyone. I found myself meeting a handful of new faces while catching up with familiar ones, and I still wasn’t able to make my way through the entire crowd. A big thank you to Valerie and Vanja, who are a wonderful couple, with big hearts and a warm home.
Potluck Dishes Included:
Taste Tripping Spectacular Punch & Roasted Red Peppers – Valarie, A Canadian Foodie
Portuguese-Style Chicken & Rice – Dan, Beyond Umami
Goose Confit Ravioli with Celery Leaves and Rhubarb Vinagrette – Allan, Button Soup
Tabbouleh Salad – Melissa, Cellar Door
Sloppy Joe Bison Sliders – Maria, City Market Manager
Summer Chickpea Salad – Kelley, Cookbook Cooks
Chicken Tajine with Potatoes, Olives and Chicken Peas – Colleen, How to Cook a Wolf
Applewood Smoked Moose Tongue – Kevin, Kevin Kossowon
Water Spinach with Fermented Tofu Sauce – Lequan, Luvtoeat
Moroccan Quinoa Salad – Mike, May Contain Nuts
Pickled Beet Salad – Jessica, May Contain Nuts
Prosciutto & Fig Crostini – Brooke, Take it and Like it!
Tzaziki – Courtney, Take it and Like it!
Pandan Agar Agar – Nameless, The Brulee Blog
Pesto Potato Salad – Bianca, What’s For Dinner?
Brochettes de Kefta – Lea, XOX